The top-rated green vehicle of 2010 is not the 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid, which tops most such lists. The greenest vehicle title goes the Honda Civic GX, powered by natural gas. Okay, the Toyota Prius is number two, and Honda Civic Hybrid claims spot three.
The top three green cars list from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, or ACEEE , which rates vehicles on their overall environmental impact, not just on their fuel economy, which is how most such lists rate cars.
The fuel economy leader is the Prius, rated at 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway, which is why the Prius tops most lists for green cars and fuel-efficient cars. The ACEE Greener Cars website analyses vehicles by a complicated algorithm including unhealthy tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and emissions of gases that cause global warming.
Greenest are the Honda Insight and the Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Hybrid, which was named the 2010 North American Car of the Year, and the Hyundai Accent Blue clean diesel. The rest of the top tens are fuel-efficient conventional vehicles such as Smartfortwo Convertible and the Chevrolet Cobalt XFE and its Pontiac G5 XFE twin at number ten.
BTW — you can now lease the Smartfortwo.
Test drive report: I spent a week test driving the 2010 Honda Insight recently, and loved it. Sporty handling with paddle shifters and a tight turning radius. Read my full test drive report on Examiner.com